December 31, 2020
Saying goodbye to 2020 urges us to release. Release and exhale. What experiences would you like to forgive and forget this year?
By holding on to past experiences there is less space open for new experiences. We learn from experience, but sometimes we also lose. If we always see the world thru the distorted lens of yesterday, we lose the ability to see things as they really are today. Indeed, the foundation of who we are is our belief system.
What false beliefs have you reevaluated this year? Here are a few examples:
“I could never home school my kids.”
“I don’t know how to use technology like Zoom. I’m too old for that.”
“I can’t make room in my schedule for ___. I’m just too busy.”
Surprise! Kids are still learning from home. You’re in a Zoom room every week, if not every day. And since many indoor activities have cancelled, you may have more room in your schedule for meditation, reading, or exercise. Never miss a Sunday at church? Who could have imagined this!?
Let’s remember, unless you are 111 years old (or older) you have never experienced a pandemic. It’s only normal that we have to identify, reimagine and reinvent those things that are important to us. The days of our stable schedule being on auto-pilot have gone by. Now we get to make some choices.
Making choices can be exhausting. Some of my friends, especially those with any type of vulnerability, have been shaken. Shaken to their core. The fear for their family, their friends and for their own safety has caused their very foundation to shift. If this is you, you are not alone. The entire world seems to be holding their breath. And yet here we all are…at the end of the year.
Are You Ready To Exhale?
Let’s pause for just a moment to understand from the perspective of Mother Earth what’s going on around us. The full moon earlier this week was in the sign of Cancer. A key word for Cancer is emotion. This is a water sign and Cancer people (June 21-July 21) are always feeling. Even if you are a different birth sign, this full moon at the end of the year has triggered lots of emotions.
We have to opportunity to ask:
How can I release some of my emotions?
One way to release emotions is thru some gentle stretches for the hips. Hips represent stability in the body and, therefore stability in life. Many of us live day to day with tight hips that can lead to an achy lower back and even knee pain. I’ve included some lovely hip stretches (image) for you to try with instructions (caption) on recommended modifications.
One other way to release emotion is thru the breath. As a part of a Noom exercise, I learned the ‘Box Breath.’ Each step is to the count of 4.
Hold the breath (1-2-3-4)
Pause before breathing in (1-2-3-4)
I have found almost immediately a present moment awareness with this exercise. Meditation expert, Nancy Leahy-Jacklow recently reminded me that most upset feelings come from being in the past or the future. Truly being in the present moment eliminates those negative projections. (false beliefs)
In wrapping up this months PEP TALK, I have addressed the bio-psycho-social reasons for hip pain.
The biology: Tight hips. Solution: Use these 5 hip opener stretches (image and directions included)
The psychology: Recognize that our very foundation has shifted this year. Solution: Name the unwanted emotions out loud (fear, anger, anxiety) and exhale to release.
Finally the social: People around us are feeling fear. Solution: Limit your exposure to people with the false belief of fear. Let me be clear. This means you still wear a mask, stay socially distanced, avoid large gatherings and wash your hands for 20 seconds >=3x day. Staying away from negativity simply means being intentional about who you socialize with. Find those people who help to keep your mindset positive.
There are many blessings that have come from this past year. I invite you to celebrate those blessings: Celebrate your strength, your tenacity, your vision, your health, your optimism. Cheers to you as you welcome more compassion and equality in 2021.
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